Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives from October 2009
Occupying Afghanistan is Making Things Worse
MARK WEISBROT
President Obama is coming under attack from the Right for his reluctance to grant the request of General Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, for more U.S. troops. On the other side of the equation sits the majority of the American peop...
Losing the Moral High Ground
FRIDA BERRIGAN
On the eighth anniversary of the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the spotlight is on the Obama administration’s evolving war strategy in a nation long known as the "graveyard of empires." The current discourse on what is no...
Ask Awal Khan About Obama’s Prize
BRENDAN COONEY
Giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize is like giving someone the literature prize because you hope he writes some good books. He doesn’t even have to be an aspiring writer. To say Obama aspires to peace is to ignore his escalation of the occupation of Afgha...
What Obama Isn’t Telling American Workers
SHAMUS COOKE
A lot is happening in the tumultuous realm of global economics.  The “Great Recession” has caused shifts internationally, with outcomes that will dramatically change the lives of millions of people in the U.S. and beyond. And while Obama is ackn...
Why the Government Fears Unions
DAVID MACARAY
It’s been noted that the two U.S. industries (not counting defense) most dependent on government handouts are agriculture and ranching.  Without federal subsidies and exemptions, these two bedrock industries would be all but unrecognizable, crippled, unabl...
That Dirty Colonial War
BINOY KAMPMARK
It was some 110 years ago that the Boer War commenced, a nasty conflict with a miscellany of atrocities befitting a classic colonial engagement.  It was waged in the true imperialist mould, revealing an unvarnished desire on the part of an insatiable Britain to ...
History Repeats Itself
RICARDO ALARCÓN De QUESADA
Just a couple of days after the Clinton White House encounter with García Márquez, US diplomats in Havana approached Cuban authorities. We had a number of discussions specially focused on what the US had found about terrorist plots against civilian airc...
War on Mexican Women
JOHN ROSS
Mexico City. "Sacan Sus Rosarios De Nuestras Ovarios!" The women, some of them bare-breasted, linked arms and chanted at the men in suits who were dashing towards the barricaded doors of the colonial edifice that houses the local congress in the cen...
Putting the Spine Back in the Commonwealth
PETER LINEBAUGH
In the prologue to Henry V (staged in 1599) Shakespeare described the Globe theatre (built in 1599). It is where the muse of fire ascended, this is the cockpit holding the vast fields, this is the wooden O crammed with war, the place of imaginary puissance. The &lsqu...
Selling Out, But Still Getting Screwed
DAVE LINDORFF
The Democrats in Congress, and their main man Barack Obama in the White House, have taken tens of millions in legal bribes from the health insurance industry over the past year, and have obligingly been hammering out in Congress a health “reform” bill tha...
The Price of Peace
JESSICA ARENTS
While waiting to be processed at the Anacostia Park Police Station, I was drawn to a mounted post-9/11, Bush-era FBI reward poster. “The Cost of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance”, propagated the sign.  The unrestrained madness is as prevalent today as it...
The Siren Song of World Praise
NIRANJAN RAMAKRISHNAN
What became of Mookerjee, Soothly, who can say? –Rudyard Kipling, "What Happened?" It was British Prime Minister Harold Wilson who observed that a week was a long time in politics. How true. To Barack Oba...
A Secret Deal Between Wall Street and Washington Shines a Harsh Light on Federal Housing Agency
PAM MARTENS
While the Federal Trade Commission was receiving gut-wrenching documentation of predatory lending abuses at a unit of Citigroup, the Federal agency mandated to level the playing field for low income homeowners, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, wa...
The Astroturf Method
DAN BACHER
One of the great myths about California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is that he is just an ignorant actor, transformed into a politician, who is easily manipulated by his staff and corporate interests. This myth explains Schwarzenegger’s relentless campaign f...
Why Obama Deserves the Nobel
ALAN CABAL
There’s been a lot of negative yipyap and hoo-hah circulating these last few days over President Obama being awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. This defeatist propaganda is being promoted by the usual crowd of racist teabaggers, gasbag birthers, and other lunat...
Time for a Timetable in Afghanistan
Sen. RUSSELL FEINGOLD
President Obama recognizes that the failed policies of the previous administration — particularly the war in Iraq — hurt our national security. Though the president has rightly focused on the threat posed by al-Qaeda, sending more troops to Afghanistan is...
Massacre in Ireland, Massacre in Iraq
EAMONN McCANN
The families of 14 men killed by British paratroopers in Derry in Northern Ireland on January 20 1972 – “Bloody Sunday” – have been paying close attention to a ruling of the High Court in London in the case of Khunder al-Sweady. Mr. al-...
A Dollar Rout or More Bernanke Trickery?
MIKE WHITNEY
Consumer credit is falling fast. In July, consumer credit plunged by $19 billion, followed by an August drop of $12 billion, a 5.8 percent annual rate. Credit card spending decreased by nearly $10 billion in August, while non-revolving debt, including auto loans, fel...
Obama’s Betrayed Mission
GIDEON LEVY
Oslo decided to change its ways and begin giving out deferred Nobel Prizes: Win now, pay tomorrow. There’s no other way to explain the bewildering, not to say bizarre, decision to grant the Nobel Prize for Peace to Barack Obama. Just like the reserved, esteemed...
Yale Lab Tech Causes Two Problems for Animal Researchers
MARTHA ROSENBERG
Scratch that $11.2 million underground animal research facility the University of Iowa’s interim vice president for research, Jordan Cohen is probably saying to his Board of Regents right about now. A 35,000-square-foot underground vivarium where researc...
Why Does Obama Get a Prize and Bush Got Shoes?
IYAD BURNAT
When I came home from our nonviolent demonstration in Bil’in, after the soldiers shot tear gas and after seeing the violence of the Israeli soldiers, I heard that President Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize. When I heard this from the media I started to go crazy....
Dairy Industry Goes Down the Tubes
BILL HATCH
If Washington had had any real concern for the dairy industry, in California or anywhere in the US, it would have dealt with the artificially low milk prices that have plunged the entire national dairy deal into unprecedented debt. Perhaps Western United Dairy...
Evidence of Harm Revisited
STEVEN HIGGS
Brooklyn, New York. Two days before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its newest data on U.S. autism rates, author David Kirby consented to a two-hour, videotaped interview in his street-level brownstone apartment in the Park Slope...
Do You Know Where Your Child Is?
MARTHA ROSENBERG
2009 will be remembered for the two biggest settlements in US history: Eli Lilly agreed to pay $1.42 billion for mismarketing the antipsychotic Zyprexa and Pfizer agreed to pay $2.3 billion for fraud associated with the antipsychotic Geodon, withdrawn painkiller Bext...
War and Peace
ALEXANDER COCKBURN
I suppose we should not  begrudge Barack Obama his Nobel Peace Prize, though it represents a  radical break in tradition, since he’s only had slightly less than nine months to discharge his imperial duties, most concretely  through the agency of ...
Fear of the Rich
PAUL BUCHHEIT
We’re led to believe that the recession has impacted everyone, especially the rich. Not only is that false, but the evidence indicates that very rich people have been a primary cause of our recent economic turndown. According to IRS figures, from 1980 to...
Time for a War Tax
STEVE BREYMAN
The United States has spent $228.2 billion on combat operations in Afghanistan since October 2001, so the Congressional Research Service tells us. The White House recently said that the single most cost-effective option–withdrawing US fighting forces–was ...
The Biggest Blot on Mel Gibson’s Rap Sheet
DAVID YEARSLEY
Three years after Mel Gibson was caught careening down the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu in his Lexus at twice the speed limit in a 45 mile-an-hour-zone with an open bottle of tequila in hand, the middle-aged Mad Max was successful in having his drunk driving convi...
One Man’s Walk Through Hell
CHARLES R. LARSON
Most of us are familiar with the genocide of the Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda in 1994, one of the major foreign policy failures of the Clinton administration. Fewer people are aware of the much more lengthy genocide in Burundi, beginning in 1993 and continuing prett...
The Plight of the Right of Return
NADIA HIJAB
The whirlwind of summiteering on climate change, non-proliferation, the economy, and Iran swept the Arab-Israeli conflict off the news — but not before Barack Obama had spoken of a "just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East." That start...
Cockeyed Economics
ALAN NASSER
… I know it may sound funny But people everywhere Runnin’ out of money Randy Newman, “Mr. President” The passage of time is the Obama administration’s economic trump card. No matter t...
Talking Dirty to the Kids
MARC LEVY
Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house. We could not, so help us God, do otherwise. ...
A Hapless Presidency
DAVID MICHAEL GREEN
It takes a real artist to render a crushing majority into a hapless political object. And Barack Obama is a real artist. He’s had quite an impressive week.  At least for an anvil. Here’s one New York Times headline, regarding the...
Behind the Capitalist Curtain
MICHAEL DONNELLY
As a Flint native, I always check out Michael Moore’s films. I’m just a few years older than Mike and lived through and benefited from the same times when the UAW and General Motors brought prosperity, a Working Class Middle Class, health care, education ...
Getting Burned (Part One)
JAMES T. PHILLIPS
“Lawrence B. Salander was arrested for the second time in four months for his role in what Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau called the biggest art fraud in New York history.” –Philip Boroff and Lindsay Pollock, Bloomb...
The Securitization Boondoggle
MIKE WHITNEY
The relentless financialization of the economy has resulted in a hybrid-system of credit expansion which depends on pools of loans sliced-and-diced into tranches and sold into the secondary market to yield-seeking investors. The process is called securitization and i...
Ships of Poison
MICHAEL LEONARDI
As reported in the Calabria daily newspaper “Calabria Ora” by director Paolo Pollichieni, 55 are the number of ships confirmed by Italian navy admiral and chief of Italian intelligence organization AISE (formerly SISMI), Bruno Branicoforte; 55 Ships conta...
Eight Years of Big Lies on Afghanistan
JAMES BOVARD
It seems like only yesterday that President George W. Bush was bragging about having given “freedom and democracy” to 25 million Afghans.  This was a key theme of his second inaugural address, and it  helped Bush preen as the conqueror of the wo...
Rap That Threatens … and Endures
LORENZO WOLFF
It’s not easy to put out a mainstream rap album that will age well. Fads in the production end change so rapidly that you can pretty easily carbon date most tracks by the way the snare sounds. After a few years even beats by the best producers in the industry w...
The Twitterest Pill
JACK Z. BRATICH
Ahh, remember the Summer of Tweet-Love? Those heady days in June 09, when pundits and cable news anchors sang the praises of their beloved social media platform Twitter? Remember how we changed our Facebook profile pics to Green in solidarity with Iranian protestors?...
Warmonger Wins Peace Prize
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
It took 25 years longer than George Orwell thought for the slogans of 1984 to become reality. “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” “Ignorance is Strength.” I would add, “Lie is Truth.” The Nobel Co...
The Raiding Game
DAVID MACARAY
Membership raids, where one union targets the leadership/members of another union, hoping to persuade them (with promises of better representation and sweeter contracts) to pull up stakes and join them, is, understandably, a sensitive subject among organized labor fo...
Congressional Depravity on Gitmo
ANDY WORTHINGTON
In a recent article, “On Guantá...
Ahmed Rashid’s War
TARIQ ALI
After breakfast, I read Gideon Rachman’s often revealing blog on the Financial Times website. Today there was some very good news. Ahmed Rashid, a leading adviser to the US hawks on Afghanistan, is depressed. Deconstructing Rachman on this occasion might be use...
New Crisis Developing in Palestine
KATHLEEN And BILL CHRISTISON
The following article is based heavily on a section of a new book recently published by Counterpunch contributors KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON. Their book, entitled ...
The Crackdown on Pittsburgh
MEL PACKER
During the days of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh, PA, our citizenry witnessed an astounding spectacle and display of military might in the city we love and call home. To the dismay of many, our pedestrian friendly, getting-to-be-attractive downtown was turned into a ...
The WTF Prize
DAVE LINDORFF
It’s not as much of a travesty as when Henry Kissinger, a war criminal of the first order who was an architect of the latter stages of the Indochina War, and was personally responsible for the slaughter of well over a million innocent people, won the Nobel Peac...
Theater of the Absurd
MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE
Is this a bad dream? No, Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet, three days after he took the oath of office, he droned Pakistan, killing civilians, including children. This continues. Our country is engaged in three wars. ...
Fear of the Rich
PAUL BUCHHEIT
We’re led to believe that the recession has impacted everyone, especially the rich. Not only is that false, but the evidence indicates that very rich people have been a primary cause of our recent economic turndown. According to IRS figures, from 1980 to...
Feedlots and E. Coli
JIM GOODMAN
The New York Times pointed out how a flawed and inadequate USDA meat inspection system has jeopardized the safety of those who eat meat and makes the simple act of eating a burger a potential game of Russian roulette. E. coli O157:H7, a virulent bacteria found...